Gray Cook: What are Progressions?

What are progressions? How are they part of your training continuum? For Gray Cook, language and communication are vital to accountability.

A progression is different than a continuum.

It’s extremely important to get our semantics right because if we can’t communicate, we can’t be accountable. If we can’t be accountable, we’re not professionals. A continuum is the Google map you just printed off from here to Chicago.

It’s going to take us this long.
These are our stops.
I like this path.
That’s the route I choose.

We’re going to show you the route to get to a kettlebell swing or a push press. As a matter of fact, we can show you that in five minutes.

But, what happens if things don’t go well along the route?
What happens when you get the detour, the bad weather or the traffic jam?

Sometimes, you push forward. Sometimes, you hold. Sometimes, you backtrack.

When real human beings are dropped onto a continuum for movement, you had better be prepared not to push all the time. Sometimes, you must hold. It will take some people quite a bit of time to get a really good deadlift—a deadlift they almost don’t even have to think about. They bend over and pick it up, and they do it with integrity.

If you press, “Get on over to that swing be­cause we can burn more calories with the swing,” and never plant that deadlift seed, you will al­ways be over-coaching swings.

You will never want Dan John to watch your clients do swings because it’s not a testament to how good they are. It’s a testament of how good you are as a coach.

Gray Cook Dan John Essentials of Coaching


Gray Cook and Dan John provide tools to identify and iron out weaknesses holding your clients back. Learn how to take the information you get from assessments and use it to prioritize components of your training for maximum effectiveness. Gray and Dan also provide exercise choices, drills and coaching tips so you can put what you learn into practice right away.

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